On March 7, 2022, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced a new partnership with Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ) for a new educational patch program to educate and prepare Girl Scouts for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The program kicked off with a virtual panel with GSHNJ in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month and is designed to build a pipeline for the next generation of women leaders.
The new initiative stems from a comprehensive report by the Port Authority’s Leadership Steering Committee on Race Dynamics, which outlined 25 actions and recommendations to be implemented as the agency continues working toward new standards of excellence in achieving racial and cultural diversity in the workplace. Those recommendations included fostering increased engagement between the Port Authority and the communities in which the agency operates. This new program with GSHNJ will help expand leadership and STEM-focused educational opportunities for New Jersey Girl Scouts.
“We are excited to embark on this new partnership with the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey to bring STEM-focused educational opportunities to Girl Scouts throughout our region,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “We are especially proud of the work of the Port Authority Women’s Council and Leadership Steering Committee for their vision to create a program to prepare and empower the next generation of women leaders.”
“The new patch program will enable the Port Authority to educate and inspire countless young women on the amazing opportunities that exist in the STEM fields throughout the agency,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “We want to deliver on our promise to increase engagement and opportunities for communities in which the agency operates and this new program will allow us to make a lasting impact in the lives of these future leaders.”
“The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has created a world-class transportation infrastructure, which is essential to the economic growth and vitality of our region,” said GSHNJ CEO Natasha Hemmings. “We are thrilled to partner with an entity that places emphasis on diversity and inclusion and supporting a sustainable environment.
And we look forward to collaborating on ways to educate and inspire our next generation of female leaders. Together we will shape the future of our female workforce one Girl Scout at a time!”
“It has been a privilege to work alongside the Leadership Steering Committee members to create and establish this wonderful program for future young ladies to be interested in STEM,” said Cynthia Lindner, immediate past President of PAWC. “We are so proud to have this lasting legacy that we can leave within the agency.”
The new Port Authority patch and program with GSHNJ will include activities in partnership with the Port Authority Women’s Council, whose mission is to enable and empower women to thrive in their careers at the agency. The program will allow Girl Scouts the opportunity to meet and learn from PAWC members. Activities will include mentorship, virtual workshops on leadership and career development, STEM topics, community service, and entrepreneurship opportunities.
The new patch program is open to any member of the Girl Scouts and will provide scouts with the opportunity to learn from agency staff, develop life and critical thinking skills, and provide engaging activities that will enable participating Girl Scouts to earn a patch for their success.
As a leader in regional transportation systems, the Port Authority has championed trailblazing women in various STEM fields and beyond.
To learn more about the new Port Authority patch program for the Girl Scouts, visit www.gshnj.org.
About the Port Authority Women’s Council
The Port Authority Women’s Council (PAWC) is one of eight Employee Business Resource Groups that assist the agency with core business objectives such as recruitment and retention of employees, internal employee outreach, and establishing nurturing community relationships. The PAWC seeks to prepare members for opportunities and programs at the Port Authority to advance in leadership roles; to provide networking and information sharing platforms to aid in career development; help women navigate through the agency and to address issues specific to women in the workplace; to celebrate women role models; to educate about different career journeys and lessons learned along the way, and to inspire women to own their careers and find their unique career paths.